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Retail bank – overcoming merger obstacles

"This collaborative approach was an excellent way to meet the bank’s requirement for a common set of best-practice processes"


When a large retail bank purchased its competitor, it chose to merge the two organisation’s credit card businesses into a single entity. This move created one of Europe’s largest commercial cards businesses employing 6,000 staff with more than 10 million consumer accounts.

Merging the two businesses was bound to be a highly complex task. The combined business occupied several sites and handled 50 products across multiple systems. In addition, the human impact of any takeover is always difficult, with job-related tensions and discomfort about the changes to come.

By working with PA Consulting Group to establish an environment that encouraged creativity, the two companies that had just been through a difficult takeover came together as an effective whole. The high-quality, detailed business operating model produced has made a lasting contribution to the business’s efficiency. In total, more than 300 staff directly  contributed to the change programme and regarded the programme as their own, rather than something externally imposed. Because of this sense of ownership, they were able to reassure their thousands of colleagues that the planned transformation was a positive one. The programme completed on time and to budget. The resultant efficiencies helped the new organisation to ensure that the benefits anticipated by the business case for the merger were achieved in practice.

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